Promotional Product Marketing Blog

Learn the best ways to market your brand with the use of promotional marketing products. Our blog gives you the best tips on ordering the right marketing merchandise to increase brand awareness within your target market. From creative marketing ideas to case studies of how others have used promotional items to promote their brand, we give you clear direction in aligning your promotional product campaign with your overall business goals.


10 Good Swag Ideas to Promote Your Brand Offline

Promotional giveaways should always be a part of your marketing strategy. It’s a great way to gain brand recognition, strengthen customer loyalty, and engage potential new customers. Promotional swag provides an opportunity to make an impression that extends beyond a single meet and greet type of event—on average, folks keep promotional products for about eight months. That’s much longer than the single Saturday afternoon you manned the company booth at a community event or industry conference. Further, a whopping 63% of people pass along their promotional swag when they’re finished with it, creating another life for the swag and extending your brand. All in all, gifting promotional goods can be a fantastically smart, organic way to grow your brand offline. After all, an eight-month shelf-life is much longer than a quickly closed internet ad or commercial. 

To be effective, a giveaway should attract your target audience and serve as an ambassador of your company/brand/product. How does the promotional swag help tell your brand’s story? How is it representing your brand to the outside world, to customers old and new? If you can’t make a direct connection from your swag to your brand, how will customers? There’s no denying it, people love free stuff. But will said free stuff make them remember you? In order to eke the needle closer to yes, consider not only how the promotional giveaway relates to your brand, but if it’s:
• Useful—folks will keep it (maybe even past the average 8 months mentioned above)
• Memorable—making an impression with your target audience will increase the likelihood of them remembering your brand, and associating it positively
• Fun—being able to make people laugh should never be underrated, so don’t be scared to be silly with your swag

While they’re certainly not a new concept, giveaways are still an immensely important and strategic marketing route. Below, we offer 10 of our favorite promotional swag giveaways ideas for your next offline gifting event.

Giveaway Ideas

#1 Apparel

Apparel makes for a great giveaway because, frankly, it’s something everyone has a need for. T-shirts, in particular, can be a very powerful giveaway—just ask this guy. Apparel is basically a walking billboard for your brand, so it’s hard to imagine any brand that wouldn’t benefit from this type of giveaway swag, from a local handyman to a San Fran tech startup.

#2 Mobile Tech

We’re living in a digital world, no doubt. In fact, within the U.S., a resounding 77% of the population owns a smartphone. That’s some serious market share. There’s a plethora of mobile tech giveaways that are relevant for, if nothing else, the fact that so many folks own them. Car chargers, phone/tablet cases, earbuds, power banks…the list goes on…and on. These are items that will remain useful daily. Slap your company name and logo on them, and voilà, your brand is now potentially part of everyday customer life. This may not seem like much, but that constant name/logo recognition is powerful—it will help establish a sense of trust simply from seeing it so much.

#3 Kid Friendly4-Pack of Kids Bath Crayons

If your target audience includes either kids or parents, you should seriously consider some kid-friendly swag. Even if kids aren’t attending the event, these swag items make a sweet little gift for parents to give to their babes when they get home. This could include fun items like bubbles, crayons, sidewalk chalk, bouncy balls, coloring books, stickers, and more—all things kids will eat up.

#4 Edibles

Snacks, sweets, chocolates…edible swag just may be the best swag (hey—it’s the most delicious at least). A long day of visiting vendors at a big conference or day-long event will leave anyone hungry. Providing nourishment for the crowd is a great way to help folks recharge and refresh themselves with something delicious. You also get a lot of opportunities for customization with food, particularly candies—colors, flavors, and yes, you can even brand some.

#5 Project Oriented

Gifting swag that’s project oriented, like a pack of seeds (plant them!), a puzzle (solve it!), or games (play them!) invites people to spend time with the promotional product—and inevitably time seeing your company name/logo—again, brand recognition equals trust.

#6 Shopping Bags and Totesreusable custom shopping tote bag

Reusable shopping bags and totes are a growing trend—a wonderful win for the green, environmentally-friendly/conscious movement. They’re a great alternative to single use plastic bags at the grocery store, farmers market, or even the mall. In a word, they’re fabulously practical. They also provide a nice chunk of space to display your company name, logo, tagline, and more.

#7 Mugs and Tumblers

Europe just overwhelmingly voted to ban single use plastic—another sign of the evolving green movement (and the strong foothold it’s gaining around the globe). Mugs and tumblers may seem like a basic item, but they’re extremely useful. Sure, everyone has mugs at home, but so many people don’t think to bring one into the office, instead filling up with paper, plastic, or worse, styrofoam cups instead. Tumblers, on the other hand, are great for anywhere—in the office, but also whenever folks are on-the-go and may be tempted to reach for a plastic bottle of water.

If you’d like to promote the green perspective of a mug or tumbler, consider working it into the design of the mug, even if your company isn’t necessarily a green-focused company. After all, we all have care about Mother Earth!

#8 Beauty Items

Estimated at about $445 billion, the beauty industry is one heck of a powerful industry. With that in mind, it’s kind of a no-brainer to give out beauty related swag like lip balms, soap, essential oils, lotions, and more. That said, this isn’t a one-size-fits-all—your brand should have some connection to beauty, well-being, health, or even just women in order to connect with potential and existing customers.

#9 Sport Gear

Sports are a powerful thing. From little tykes kicking around a soccer ball, to adult softball leagues, you almost never outgrow how good it feels to run around chasing a ball with friends. Frisbees, golf balls, basketballs, hockey pucks—the options are almost endless when it comes to sport-centric promotional swag. This theme doubles as being kid-friendly, too, so even if the adult passes on the offer to play, their kids likely won’t.

#10 Vacation Gear

Our Basecamp Tundra bottleVacation leaning promotional swag is a great idea for Spring/Summer events since that’s when most vacations tend to take place. Longer days and glorious heat have most folks eager to head to a body of water—the ocean if you’re close enough, or a lake if your landlocked. Sun and surf-oriented gear can include sunglasses, flip-flops, beach towels, water bottles and more. For a camp vibe, binoculars, flashlights, and tin mugs are great options. To beat the heat, a small, electronic handheld fans or visors are unbeatable.

We hope these ten ideas have got your wheels turning for all the different swag you can create for your next offline event. When choosing items, remember to try to understand your audience, and how your swag represents and speaks to your brand. Folks may love free stuff, but if it doesn’t connect to your brand/product/service, it will be difficult for potential customers to make the association—undermining your goal of gaining trust. For specific items mentioned in these 10 items, check out ePromos wide range of promotional swag for your next event!


12 Expert Strategies to Market Your Local Business

With the rise of e-commerce and the increased influence of global brands, many local businesses find it challenging to connect with customers even in their own backyard. However, this doesn’t have to be the case. Data from Google shows that over 4 out of 5 consumers regularly search online for local services or products, while many customers are happy to pay higher prices to support small business. 

It may be tough to compete with international advertising campaigns, but there are still plenty of marketing strategies that organizations tend to overlook. ePromos reached out to expert marketers and small biz owners alike to get their thoughts and efficient tips that will help level the playing field when it comes to advertising a local business.

1. Yelp Marketing

Rodney YoLocal marketing is pretty much our entire marketing strategy since we cater only to Californians, so we heavily rely on ranking higher for local users. One strategy that has worked well for us is Yelp advertising. The key to succeeding on Yelp is having a complete profile, actively responding to reviews and doing your best to make sure customers are giving you five stars. Once you have that, you’ll start to rank higher organically, and you can pay for Yelp ads in your area. It’s hard to tell the difference between a Yelp ad and a listing which can work to your advantage.

Rodney Yo, Owner – Best Online Traffic School

2. Create a Solid Digital Foundation

Martin Watts


Whether you own a physical ‘brick and mortar’ store or are 100% online, there is no point spending precious marketing dollars driving potential customers to a website and digital presence that won’t convert them to a sale.

So, what makes a solid foundation for a local business? Here are my 5 steps.

1. A great website that loads quickly, has a valid SSL certificate and is optimized for mobile. Hire a professional or build your own via some of the major online website builders that take the hassle out of hosting for you.
2. Reviews, reviews and more reviews. To boost your business listing in local searches it’s about quantity. Encourage past and present clients to review your Google My Business listing.
3. A Facebook page that is set up as a ‘local business’. This allows people to tag your business page in the many local Facebook Groups when people are asking for recommendations on a daily basis.
4. Google Search Console & Analytics. Register your site on Google search console and link it up to Google Analytics so that you can fix errors and optimize your website content.

If you do these things, you’ll be setting yourself up for local marketing success and will be way ahead of your competition.

Martin Watts, CEO – 8Cats Automotive

3. Find Local Keywords for SEO

Although SEO is often seen by local business owners as difficult or a waste of time, I’ve found it to be a valuable source of leads (both international and local).

For local businesses, I recommend using a local keyword tool like KWFinder to help you choose keywords that your site can potentially rank for. Then, build a few quality links to your site by listing your business on local directories and guest blogging for local and/or relevant websites. In my industry, it didn’t take a ton of backlinks or content to start seeing results.

Chloe BrittainDon’t focus too much on search volume metrics when your website is still relatively new: You can generate a small but steady stream of leads early on in your campaign if you focus on quality over quantity and target a handful of low-competition keywords, even if the search volume is quite low (even 10 searches per month or less).

Chloe Brittain, Owner – Opal Transcription Services

4. Use Instagram’s Local Features

Use Instagram to do a location-based search on your business. So many brick-and-mortars have been surprised to know that customers – without any prodding from the business – are sharing updates and tagging their location in them. Spencer X SmithBy searching for those tagging your location and simply thanking them, you can show both your customers and potential customers that you’re listening and engaging. For those who respond positively, offer them something to come back so they have more to share on social media.

Spencer X Smith, Founder – AmpliPhi


5. Get Involved

Storytelling is more important than ever, as are visuals if you’re using platforms like Instagram. My area of expertise is branding and publicity for authors, professionals and small businesses. I advise clients to find a local nonprofit that’s aligned with their business objectives – or something they’re passionate about – and to get involved. Learning how to fundraise for a nonprofit, and working with others, is a great way to meet people and get exposure for your business. Taking photos or videos at nonprofit events where you’re a participant is free shareable social media content.

Tina KoenigHere are a couple of examples: a moving company helped a local library foundation on the day of its signature event by moving hundreds of silent auction items and decorations to the event venue. Also, an author who wrote a memoir about growing up poor in Guyana organized an international mission trip to provide dental assistance to residents of the town where he grew up. He applied for grants to cover the cost of the trip and a local dental team donated their time and supplies.

Tina Koenig, Literary Consultant & Publicist –

6. Invest in Your Reputation

When homeowners in your area are looking for a business nearby, they’re looking for signals that they can trust you. Testimonials from happy customers can go a long way in making people feel comfortable with your company. Online reviews mean a lot. Laura SimisLocal Services by Google (which are ads that now show above regular PPC listings for searches for local services) don’t link users to your website at all – they show your name, phone number, and your star rating on your Google Business page – so it’s important to make sure you’re passing the right message along to potential customers.

Laura Simis, Branding & Communications Manager – Coalmarch


7. Be Thorough with Google My Business

Local marketing is all about being found when a potential customer needs your product or services. To that end, it’s imperative that companies establish and verify their Google My Business listing. This listing is responsible for the business showing up on Google Maps as well as in the local pack of a Google search (the top three listings under the map at the top of the search results).

When filling out the information on GMB it’s important to be as thorough as possible. Companies need to make sure they select the right categories of business that are in. For instance, our company is in the in self-storage industry. Derek HinesSo, we choose not only “Self-Storage Facility”, but “Storage Facility”, “Moving Supply Store”, “Truck Rental Agency”, and “Packaging Supply Store.” We also put in a description of the business that is keyword optimized for the terms that people are searching for. Lastly, make sure that you verify the business with Google. When you request verification, Google will send the business a postcard with a code on it that must be entered on the GMB page. This signals to Google that the business is legitimate and operational.

Derek Hines, Internet Marketing Specialist – West Coast Self Storage

8. Join Local Organizations

Julia MonahanWhile a Google My Business listing is important, a new business really gets the most value in getting their name in front of the local audiences. Joining the local neighborhood organization will tap you into what the market is looking for and how you can get involved. Through the organization, you can run promotions, be part of their newsletter, get support hosting events, etc. This is really a win-win for everyone involved; more activity makes the community stronger and each activity gets your businesses name out there and raises awareness.

Julie Monahan, Director of Marketing – The Alternative Board

9. Explore Paid Advertising Options

The best way to market a local business is to do so online. With an estimated 46% of all searches having local intent, putting your business in front of users is essential to driving both traffic to your website and revenue for your business.

Audrey Strasenburgh

So how do you market a small business online? When asked this question, I always recommend paid advertising. Starting a paid advertising campaign can help give your website the added online visibility it needs if your organic search traffic is less than stellar. There are dozens of different paid advertising options you can choose from, including Google Ads, Facebook Ads, and even ads on local online directory websites such as Yelp. Paid advertising is a great option because your ad is placed in a strategic location – often above your competitors – on the page. Even if you don’t get clicks, your brand name is front and center and visible to those conducting a local search online.

Audrey Strasenburgh, SEO Strategist – LogoMix

10. Use Word-of-Mouth

I always advise my clientele to market their services exactly the way their huge competitors don’t – locally. They have a knowledge of their geographic prospect marketplace that corporate marketers don’t, so use this vital knowledge to connect with people as if they were actual people – as if the business and the individual prospect could meet face to face one day – because they probably will. Stay in touch with their prospects and give your customers the first opportunity to access special sales, pricing and offers that other prospects won’t get.Steve James

Get your customers to speak to your specific market place as an evangelist for you; these word-of-mouth recommendations are always the gold at the end of the marketing rainbow that you need. You don’t know who they know, but these second-level contacts will like you because their friends do.

Steve James, Freelance Marketing Consultant – SmallBizBigBiz


11. Create Seasonal Stories 

One thing that excites local media is to receive fresh story ideas for seasonal topics like summer vacation, back-to-school, spring break, etc. If a small retailer offers a product or service with a connection to a seasonal topic, then a pitch to local news outlets could net a high-profile placement. For instance, in the run-up to peak summer travel season, a local spa or salon that offers skin products could pitch its sun protection and hydration products to educate consumers about the need to keep skin protected from damaging ultraviolet rays with the most appropriate level of SPF.

Julia Angelen Joy, Account Director – Swyft

12. Local Advertising Affordably

Jeff MoriartyWe own a small brick and mortar jewelry store, as well as an online website. One area where we have excelled is through social media. We do Facebook and Instagram advertising for our local store and promote it through geotargeted ads. These ads normally have a special offer, along with pictures of our store and a button for directions. We only advertise 10 miles around our store, which helps with costs and it ensures us that we are going after the right potential customers. This has brought us in 100’s of more followers and dozens of new customers each month to our store. This is something we will continue to do, and we would recommend other small business owners to the same!

Jeff Moriarty, Marketing Manager – Moriarty’s Gem Art

We hope these 12 tips help offer guidance when promoting a local business. It’s important to take full advantage of modern digital marketing strategies, as well as not to forget to be active in the community where your business resides.

For organizations interested in using promotional products to grow their local brand, contact ePromos to speak to one of our brand professionals today.


Bake Us Happy: Raising Autism Awareness with Julia’s Cookies

One cookie at a time, this inspiring 20-year-old baker is getting the word out about Autism

We’ve always believed advertising can change the world. Over and over we’ve seen the impact of a well-placed, well-printed, well-positioned premium or the whirlwind that can stir from an “outside the box” guerilla campaign. For today’s consumers, it’s all about the experience – one that typically begins with something that’s meaningful to them in some way.

At ePromos, we’ve long been focused on masterfully creating and delivering that meaningful experience at all touchpoints, from branding to purchasing, warehousing to delivering. We’ve been able to understand and deliver on the mission as a whole, often creating campaigns that have the power to drive movements forward – because, often, all it takes to move the needle is the slightest push.

A recent example truly inspired all of us at ePromos. For more than three decades, ePromos EVP Jeff Pinsky has been involved with an incredible organization, Community Mainstreaming. This Long Island-based charity builds and maintains group homes for developmentally-challenged adults throughout the area – adults with Down Syndrome, Autism, learning disabilities and developmental hurdles – and this time, their new partnership to raise Autism Awareness is outstanding.

Though capable, competent and enthusiastic, these residents are, often, overlooked by mainstream society – and Community Mainstreaming seeks to change that for good. The group helps participants learn basic job skills and helps them find work at local libraries, markets, bakeries and more, so they can contribute to the community and better their own lives.

Mainstreaming and Maximizing Talent

One recent participant was 20-year-old Julia. Julia was placed with Community Mainstreaming partner Coffeed, a locally-owned coffee shop and bakery so she could better explore her passion for baking. Quickly, Julia’s time at Coffeed became the highlight of her week – and, with guidance from her mother Arlene and her colleagues and peers at Coffeed, Julia took charge of a massive fundraiser that, already, is making serious waves.

Julia's Cookies

Creating a Cookie Movement

Together with her peers at Coffeed, Julia is in the process of baking 5,000 to 10,000 dozen cookies to raise money for National Autism Month – Julia was diagnosed with autism at age two. These cookies are, now, on sale at In March while still in pre-sale mode, the team sold 12,000 cookies—and, now, they’re looking ahead with a goal of raising $250,000 in profits.

“We’ve always been a huge supporter of this organization – but we saw this as an opportunity to add extreme value, thanks to our expertise with packaging, fulfillment, creative and design,” says Jeff Pinsky, ePromos Executive Vice President. “Our impact in these areas would go far beyond money and time.”

Immediately, ePromos and partner vendors joined the cause. Ruckus Media, an ePromos partner, built the Shopify site to sell Julia’s cookies, and partner TekWeld provided stunning custom cookie boxes at cost. Mid-Nite Snax is providing all packaging, fulfillment and preparing shipments for free, saving Julia’s team upwards of $20,000.

“The fundamental idea was not to treat this like a fundraiser but treat “Julia’s Bakery” as if it were our most important customer,” says Pinsky. “We leveraged ePromos full service infrastructure to deliver a true white glove experience for the buyers and donors. We wanted to deliver a better experience than similarly priced high perceived e-tailers and gift basket companies with a full two-thirds of the money going directly to the charities.”

ePromos was also quick to continue its commitment – the company has worked with Community Mainstreaming for more than 20 years. ePromos’ Maria Tosti created all packaging as well as the website layout and design, and the team supported Julia with vendor management and order processing. This added support helped streamline the sales and transaction processes, helping Julia’s team maximize their revenues while creating a level of professionalism that separated their fundraiser from other, more established campaigns.

“Our value is the strength of our strategic partnerships that go way beyond traditional promotional products and services. Most companies in our space sell products and are focused on individual transactions. A big part of ePromos’ 360-degree approach to our customer experience takes us well beyond traditional promotional services,” Pinsky explains. “We handle ideation, design, production, warehousing, kitting, fulfillment, distribution and packaging, which sets us apart in our industry. We can execute on both an intimate or an enterprise scale, very simply, while always controlling costs as well as quality. ”

Now up and running at full speed, Julia’s fundraiser has already generated significant buzz from outlets such as NY1, New Fork City and more. Cookies are limited – and they’re delicious! Order yours now at, and choose from oatmeal or chocolate chip, all shipped fresh in beautiful, professional packaging—with all proceeds benefiting Community Mainstreaming and NEXT for Autism.

Once you’ve purchased—or if you’d just like to help get the word out—share your comments, pics and posts with #Juliascookies and help “bake us happy,” as Julia says.

Interested in learning more about the #ePromosCulture? See how ePromos gives back  and follow us on FacebookInstagramTwitterLinked In and Pinterest



Our Favorite Examples of Green Marketing Campaigns

The “green” trend or being aware of how we’re slashing through finite natural resources to devastating effects and seeking ways to stop/reverse the damage—is a growing movement. And for good reason. Earth Overshoot Day, the day of the year that marks when humanity has used up more resources than the Earth can replenish that year, fell on August 1 last year—the earliest date yet. Just recently young folks around the globe skipped school to stand up against climate change. More and more businesses are going green, whether through updating manufacturing practices, products, or even the buildings they reside in and customers are noticing.

The green trend only stands to gain traction, as the environmental situation becomes direr and folks become more engaged in the fight against it—which is why all businesses should at least consider green marketing as part of their long-term strategy. Green marketing can wear a few faces, from being about the green initiatives at your business to sustainable/green-friendly products used in promotions and giveaways. If you opt to do something green, be sure you’re doing it authentically. Consumers are wising up and you stand to lose customers if you simply ‘go green’ because it’s on trend, and not because it’s part of your larger business values and beliefs.

If you’re looking to create a promotional product but want to ditch the plastic and go greener, consider our curated list of the top 10 green marketing campaign ideas below. From reusable grocery bags, to stainless steel snack containers, to seeds (is there anything greener than a plant?), we’ve got you covered!

10 Green Marketing Campaign Ideas

1. Reusable Grocery Bags

Plastic bags have become a major source of contention concerning the environment. They’re damaging marine life and filling up landfills — check out this list for 10 sobering facts on the problem with single use plastic bags. Be a part of the fight against single use plastic bags by gifting fully customizable reusable grocery bags.

2. Stainless Steel or Glass Water Bottles

It’s been estimated that in the U.S., 1500 water bottles are used every second. Yikes! Help your customers go green by offering a reusable water bottle. Even better—ditch the plastic altogether with a stainless steel or glass version. These materials are much more easily recycled than reusable plastic versions.

3. Cloth Produce Bags

Ditching plastic bags is awesome, but even if you bring your own totes, chances are you’re still going to end up using plastic bags—cue the produce aisle, rife with cheap, small plastic bags. Cloth bags, made from sustainable materials like cotton, are a fantastic option to completely ditch plastic bags at the grocery store.

4. Bar Soap

Bar soap is a great option for replacing liquid soaps, which usually come in plastic bottles. A bar soap has no need for packaging, and eventually, gets all used up, creating zero waste. Get creative by customizing the soap by imprinting your company logo or name on it.

5. Seeds Packets

Can you go greener than planting seeds? We think not. Seed packets are a cute, earth-friendly promotional gift that customers will love. They make a great gift for adults and are a family-friendly activity to do with kids. From herbs to wildflowers, there’s plenty of seed options out there.

6. Reusable Straws

Straws, like the kind you get in almost every restaurant or fast food chain, are a big problem. The large majority are not recyclable, meaning they end up in landfills. But they’re so small, you may be thinking? Well, nothing is small when you consider that in the U.S. alone, 500 million straws are used daily! That’s a HUGE issue. Luckily folks are catching onto the wonder of reusable straws, made from materials like stainless steel and silicone. These straws are a major environmental win and can easily be branded with your company name or logo to make a great green gift.

7. Bento Lunch Container

Two-Tone Custom Bento Lunch Box with UtensilsFinding ways to package lunches, which are eaten outside of the home (like at school or work), can be tricky if you want to be greener. Plastic baggies have been a long cultural norm for housing sandwiches and snack—but they are not green. Consider gifting a bento style lunch container as a promotional gift, which of course, you can customize with your company colors, logo, or name.

Really want to make an impression? Fill it with snacks and other goodies when handing them out.

8. Mugs

A mug may not seem like the most innovative green gift, but the average coffee drinker consumes 3.1 cups per day! For those drinking those cups in the office using plastic, (or worse, Styrofoam) that’s an incredible amount of waste. A ceramic mug is the perfect solution to enjoy your coffee without the added cup waste. Customize your cup and consider incorporating something ‘green’ into the design to signify the goal of using it in the office as a replacement to paper cups.

9. Recycled Paper Notebook

While a big part of going green is relying less on natural resources, it’s hard to completely let go of those, like paper. That said, you can use paper and be green by opting for a notebook made from recycled materials.

10. Bamboo Items

Bamboo may be the wunderkind of going green. It grows quickly, uses very little water, and is wonderfully strong. It has promising versatility, too, from fabrics to building materials. Show some bamboo (and Mother Earth) love by gifting folks something made of bamboo, like a t-shirt, baseball cap, pen, or more (we told you it was versatile).

Hopefully these Earth-friendly options have gotten your wheels turning for ways to gift promotional products that are wonderfully green. Looking for more ideas? Check out this piece on 20 Creative Ideas for Earth Day Promotions.

Taking a stand in the fight against climate change, and the disastrous issues that come with it, is something not only for your business to be proud of, but your customers will respect and potentially even support you further because of it.


When Buying Brand Names Brings the Biggest Benefit

What’s in a name? To some customers – everything. A name-brand promotional product can sometimes be the difference between an item that is tossed and an item that is kept, wariness and trust in your company, potential and acquisition. Sometimes it can be what makes or breaks your promotion… and sometimes the brand alternative can accomplish the same goal.

So how do you know which time it is? How do you choose? When does buying name brands matter?

The Value of Name-Brand Promotional Products

Let’s first explore the value of name-brand promotional products. There is no denying people love what they know. The end-game for most companies is to become a household name themselves, so it makes sense to align your brand with a well-known brand. But going beyond that concept, what makes a well-known brand so desirable?

building trust

For some it may be status. For some, quality. People trust brands they’ve had multiple good experiences with, brands that work to make the world a better place, and brands that demonstrate superior customer service.

Often brand-name items are rivaled by brand alternatives that are competitive in both form and function. In these cases, the only major differences are the price points and the perceived value.

Brand-name items tend to have a higher perceived value. Their prices are often higher. They experience discounts and sales less frequently. Their logos are recognizable… coveted even. This value is not just for the customer, but also for you as the advertiser. Name-brand promos can be great conversation pieces, which will lead to even more exposure for your own brand.

Retail and Promo Worlds Collide

The world of promotional products has come a long way in recent years. In our industry there will always be a place for affordable knock-offs and “tchotchkes,” but retail-inspired offerings are on the rise.

People tend to gravitate toward retail-level quality, and now thanks to the availability of top consumer brands, we finally have the power to deliver the latest trends and give your customers what they truly want.

With big box stores such as Toys “R” Us, Brookstone and Sears closing their doors, it’s clear that retail as a whole is evolving. Brands are looking for new ways to market themselves, and the promo industry is the way to go. The brands we all love are learning that we can work together to further success. This natural alliance between promotional products and name-brands allows those brands to live on and extend their reach while allowing us to offer recognizable retail-inspired items your customers will want to keep.

How to Choose Between Brand-Name and Brand-Alternative Promos

To buy, or not to buy, that is the question. Here are some guidelines to help you with that decision:

Set Goals: Before shopping for any promotional products or creating a marketing plan, you have to set goals. Is your goal to reach as many people as possible? How are you defining that reach? Sometimes less is more. Look to your own budget to determine if you can realistically afford to reach your marketing goals with a name-brand promotional item. If you can accomplish the same reach with a high-quality, lower-cost brand alternative, it may be worth your while.

Consider Cost: There are clear benefits to buying brand-names, but the biggest deterrent is almost always cost. Typically speaking, brand-name promotional products incur higher prices than brand-alternative products. Is it because the quality of the product is actually greater? Sometimes. But more often than not, it is simply due to the fact that it is a well-known brand and therefore has a higher perceived value.

Know Your Industry & Audience: Where and to whom you distribute your promos is a huge factor in deciding the type of promo that is most appropriate. If you intend to hand out items at a trade show or as a gift with purchase, you will get a bigger bang for your buck by shopping brand alternatives. If you intend your branded items as reward incentives, name-brands offer much more value. Even among the name-brand items, it’s important to look at demographics like age; younger audiences will value different brands than older audiences especially when it comes to apparel. It’s also important to know the expectations of customers within your industry. For example, clients of businesses like law firms and banks may be more brand-conscious than other industries. Know where you come from, and know where you’re going.

Understand Limitations: Some name-brand promotional products are limited in what they can offer in terms of imprinting. These brands may be new to the industry or simply don’t want to distract from their own logos. Whatever the case may be, you can often find more opportunity for multiple or larger imprint areas in brand-alternative products. It’s important to weigh your options and decide if the name or if the imprint will further your success based on the other factors above.

brand name versus brand alternative

It’s not always an easy or clear-cut decision to buy brand-name or brand-alternative promotional products, but we are here to help you make the right choice for your particular needs. Let us share some of our insight into the worlds of retail and promo with side-by-side comparisons and our vast knowledge of the pros and cons of each. Get in touch today!


Types of Planners & Journals to Get Your Team Organized

The modern workplace has changed leaps and bounds in the past twenty years thanks to the advent of the Internet—with pretty much everything moving forward as digital. Further, workspaces are now literally digital, as remote working surges in popularity around the globe—which only makes staying organized and focused all the more important, as the dynamics of “the office” continue to evolve. Planners are a fantastic way to keep yourself on track but with this everything-digital attitude, one must wonder: does a paper planner have a place in the workplace anymore? A simple response—a resounding “yes”.Promotional Planners and Journals

A paper planner is wonderful for many reasons, not least among which is the fact that it isn’t digital. No dead batteries to charge, Internet shortages to sit through, upgrades to stay on top of, or handing over all your personal information to an app—all that is needed is a simple pen. Additionally, some argue that the act of writing things down help you better remember them.

Paper planners make a great gift to employees, particularly if you’re looking to usher in greater organization, create a reason to jump offline (even if for just a few minutes each day), or encourage employees to be more intentional in how they plan out their days/weeks/months. They can also be a motivating factor in increasing productivity, as the process of writing out plans and continually reviewing them is a great reminder of what’s on your plate.

With that said, planners aren’t necessarily a one-size-fits-all. People use them in all sorts of different ways, making some features more useful than others, again, depending on personal preference. For some folks, a to-do list is a dream space—the simple joy of crafting a list and slowly ticking it off. For others, having a place to jot down bullets and notes is preferred—great for use in a meeting, conference, or during work calls. For those looking to focus on timing, a calendar or time-based planner is a great tool to strive for efficiency and fitting it all in.

Below, we go over a few of the most popular planner types and offer some recommendations that can be found at ePromos—bonus, they’re all customizable.

Types of Planners

1. Daily planner

This style of planner has a space for each day of the year. It’s great for catching all the little things that make up your day—you can even find ones that list the day out by hours. This is a great style for individuals looking to maximize the hours in the day by being more accountable to them simply from having a space to pen them out. This creates a stronger awareness around daily priority.

On a more practical note, daily planners are a good choice for individuals that prefer more room to write and plan.

2. Weekly planner

A weekly planner is perfect for creating a wider lens than a daily planner, but still ‘staying small’—on point with the tactical needs and priorities of a job. A weekly may not have as much space for detail, but you’ll appreciate being able to look at an entire week all at once, (as opposed to being spread over seven different pages in a daily). It’s also a smart option for managers who may need to keep track of a few schedules at once, or for someone juggling a lot of meetings on a weekly basis. Looking at the entire week all at once helps you to plan for both the busy and slow days spread across the week.

A few options from ePromos:
Weekly Custom Pocket Planner w/ Matching Flat Pen
Executive Vinyl Weekly Custom Pocket Planner
Weekly Wire Bound Custom Planner

3. Monthly planner

Monthly planners allow you to look at the entire month all at once. This is ideal for someone looking to organize themselves more strategically by considering a broad view of time, especially if working towards a project with a deadline that’s months away. This makes it an excellent choice for academics, who need to stay on track for big projects and papers that are coming down the pike, not to mention exams, but who otherwise mostly have a fixed schedule. A monthly planner is the best way to stay on-track from a yearly perspective.

A few cool options from ePromos:
Monthly Custom Pocket Planner
Classic Custom Monthly Planner
Monthly Desk Appointment Custom Planner

4. Desk diary

Desk diaries, also called “productivity weapons” are a great way to get on track for those who feel the burden of having too much to fit into a single day (all too relatable for most of us). With the ability to write out daily/weekly/monthly (depending on the interval you select) it can be not only a great tool for planning, but for evaluating how your time is being spent. It allows you to see what chewed up more time than originally projected, and search for ways to become more efficient in a bid to make your workday more productive.

A few options from ePromos:
Daily Wire Bound Custom Desk Diary
Soft Sewn Weekly Custom Desk Diary
Monthly Desk Custom Appointment Custom Planner

While a paper planner may be regarded as nostalgic at first glance, it’s still a trusty way to stay organized and even increase productivity when used faithfully. Giving them out to employees is a great way to benefit your organization. As mentioned above, consider them not only for their planning purposes, but the usefulness of reflecting on them at regular intervals, comparing them alongside personal/company outcomes and deliverables. ePromos offers a wide range of every kind of planner mentioned above, with the ability for customization, like adding a company name or logo—be sure to check them out!